During the last week, lots of news has hit the digital publishing and ebook scene. Our quintessential week in review brings you up to speed on the top stories over the course of the last seven days.
Amazon and Sony Offering Massive Deals in the UK – Ever since Sony launched its UK ebook store, it has been offering 20p titles every week. A number of major publishers have signed on to take part, including Macmillan. Not to be outdone, Amazon is also matching all of the titles in its system to give you the same deals. The customer is obviously going to win out on these discounted ebooks. Some people have labeled Amazon as a “Playground Bully.”
What Do You Pirate eBooks? – A very long thread on REDDIT has hundreds of people discussing the rational behind downloading ebooks on the internet without paying for them. It is a thread worth checking out if you feel strongly one way or the other.
Kindle Single Guidelines Made Public – The Amazon Kindle Singles program was launched last year and has gained momentum in this particular ebook segment. The essence of the program is to digitally publish works that are too short to be a novel and too long to be a major feature in a magazine. “We wanted to create a venue for these works while still finding the best work of this kind,” said Kindle Singles editor David Blum in an interview with GoodEReader.com shortly after the launch of the program last year. “Aside from the word count, price is an issue in Kindle Singles, with all works costing between ninety-nine cents and $4.99. It keeps the works affordable and accessible.”
Qualcomm Suspends Mirasol Development – Qualcomm has officially suspended manufacturing of their seminal Mirasol screen technologies. The company’s CEO Paul Jacobs made the announcement at its annual investors call today. He said “With respect to QMT, we’re now focusing on licensing our next-generation Mirasol display technology and will directly commercialize only certain Mirasol products. We believe that this strategy will better align our updated road-map with the addressable opportunities.”
Family Christian Company Offers Its Own e-Reader – Family Christian has over 300 store locations spread out across the United States. The company has announced today that it will issue its own Android based e-reader, called edify, for customers to purchase at $149.99 It is mainly billed as a family friendly device with “safe search” options for internet browsing. It comes with a number of apps that are tailored towards bibles and ebook applications.
Public Domain Books Get a Makeover on Amazon – Amazon has reassigned thousands of ASIN numbers to public domain books listed in its system. This ensures that many of the books that dominate the top 100 in many different categories will not be appearing anymore, which leaves indie authors a tremendous opportunity to get their ebooks to rank high on Amazon by offering them for free.
Barnes and Noble to Give Indie Authors a Way to Sell Their Books in Retail Stores – B&N has partnered with Fast Pencil to offer indie authors a way to sell their books in thousands of retail stores in the USA. This partnership can mean putting indie authors’ books in front of a much larger audience than with ebook distribution alone. However, the reading consumers also stand to benefit greatly because titles placed in Barnes and Noble stores will have been very strategically vetted before the opportunity is given. Both Barnes and Noble and FastPencil have their companies’ names at stake and will select books of the highest caliber for physical placement. Taking a risk on a previously unknown author may mean gambling a few dollars on an ebook, but there is significantly more money invested in purchasing a print edition, so readers want to know that the book has been carefully screened for quality.
An Alternative to Kickstarter Launches and Focuses on Digital Comics – Comic Accelerator has launched in BETA and gives graphic novels, comics, and game companies a new avenue to secure crowd-sourced funding. iVerse is firmly behind this new initiative and provides a digital download system for publishers to reward investors. This can be anything from concept art to the finished product.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.